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Old 08-16-2004, 11:32 AM   #1
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Triple Chocolate Pound cake problems

OK, just made a triple chocolate pound cake. Followed the recipe pretty religiously and even gave it extra time in the oven as I could tell it was still wobbly. When I went to check it with a toothpick it completely deflated and collapsed. I was quite surprised as I have never had a pound cake do that before. What happened? I want to try it again, and I would like to avoid whatever error I made the first time.

My thoughts...recipe says to use a 12 cup pan (I did) but I think the 8 cup would work better...yes or no?

Did I beat it too long and add too much air?

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Old 08-17-2004, 11:34 AM   #2
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I KNOW THIS ONE, I KNOW THIS ONE - this is my final answer!!!! I haven't a clue!!!! This is why I don't bake LOL
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:34 AM   #3
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LOL!
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Old 08-23-2004, 12:12 PM   #4
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flat pound cake

How many eggs did the recipe have?
It sounds like the recipe has too much liquid. Maybe you beat the butter and sugar too long but probably too much liquid.

I am a pastry chef and if you would like me to analyze the recipe I could do that or you could just throw the recipe away. :?
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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Wow, Ruth I would love it if you could analyze it for me. I will have to type it into the computer since it is in a magazine though. I have been told the likely cause of my disaster is overbeating and altitude. We are higher here and I should have cooked it longer. The overbeating likely caused it to rise too quickly and then of course to deflate! I will take you up on that analysis...just give me a bit to get it typed in and I will then email it to you. THANKS!!
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:40 PM   #6
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pound cake

Alix,
I baked in Steamboat Springs, CO for a few years and found that altitude didn't affect pastries, ect as much as you would think. Water certianly boiled faster!
Take your time typing the recipe. Actually, what magazine. Maybe the recipe is available on line?
I am up against a deadline for my cookbook, so no hurry.
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:45 PM   #7
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What's your altitude?

Sounds like a classic case of high altitude baking using a sea level recipe.

You'll have to post the ingredient list in detail so we can tell you how to adjust the recipe.

Basically, you have too much leavening. What that means is there is too much lift in the batter for that altitude and the structure of the resultant cake is too weak. The batter puffs up so much that it can't support its own weight. Hence, the collapse.
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Old 08-26-2004, 11:37 PM   #8
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We are at 2192 feet above sea level here. Recipe follows:

1 cup softened butter (unsalted)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup dutch process cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
3/4 mini chocolate chips

Beat butter at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add sugar; beat 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape down sides.

In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. At low speed add flour in 3 portions, alternating with sour cream and ending with flour mixture. Beat 5 seconds after each addition. Add chocolate chips; finish stirring batter with spatula until blended. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes or til skewer comes out clean.
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
We are at 2192 feet above sea level here. Recipe follows:

1 cup softened butter (unsalted)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cups sifted flour
2/3 cup dutch process cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
3/4 mini chocolate chips

Beat butter at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Add sugar; beat 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape down sides.

In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. At low speed add flour in 3 portions, alternating with sour cream and ending with flour mixture. Beat 5 seconds after each addition. Add chocolate chips; finish stirring batter with spatula until blended. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes or til skewer comes out clean.

Alix,

You are right at the lower limit for where adjustments are needed. Generally speaking, no adjustments are needed below 2,000 feet.

At your altitude, the only thing you need to change is to reduce the amount of leavening you're using. Cut your baking powder by 15%. I noticed you didn't list any baking soda, but you mention it in the directions. That also has to be reduced by 15%.

What the reduction in leavening will do is it will cut down on the amount of CO2 that's generated in the batter as the cake bakes. This will keep the gas cells in the batter smaller. The smaller gas cells makes for better cake structure. If you have too much leavening, the gas cells will be larger and the walls between the cells will be thin and weak which causes the cake to fall.

Hope this helps you understand what's going on.

BTW, if you were at higher altitude, you'd have to increase the amount of eggs and flour along with reducing the leavening. Those adjustments start at around 2,500 feet.
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:41 PM   #10
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:oops: heehee! Guess I was typing too fast. 1 tsp of baking soda too...LOL.

Thanks for the quick reply and analysis. I am going to try this baby again soon, but my kitchen is about to be demolished so it won't be until end of September at the earliest. I will keep in mind your recommendation when I do it. I am not sure how to do 15%...but I think if I just eyeball it that will work well. Much appreciated.
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